JNU alumnus, Indian American Abhijit Banerjee awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer were awarded 2019 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday for their approach to alleviate global poverty. Abhijit also helped conceptualise NYAY scheme.

Nobel prize economics

Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, his wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer were awarded the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday for their approach to alleviate global poverty.

Fifty-eight-year-old Banerjee was born in 1961. He studied at Calcutta University’s Presidency College and Jawaharlal Nehru University and then did a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1988. Abhijit was also a student of another Nobel Award winner in Economics, Amartya Sen.

Esther Duflo of France waves after receiving the Princess of Asturias award for Social Sciences from Spain’s King Felipe VI at a ceremony in Oviedo, northern Spain.

Esther Duflo, 46, born in Paris, also has the honor to be the youngest ever person to receive the economics award. She is the second woman to win the economics prize after Elinor Ostrom got it in 2009. She is married to Abhijit Banerjee.

Banerjee is the author of four books that include Poor Economics, for which he won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011. The book has been translated into more than 17 languages.

Both Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology while Kremer is at Harvard University. Duflo is also the Editor of the American Economic Review, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Kremer, 54, is a development economist, who is currently the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University.

The news was received with much enthusiasm and pride by Indians.

Abhijit Banerjee is also the batch mate of Yogendra Yadav, social activist and national President of Swaraj India. He also congratulated Banerjee on Twitter.

Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi also congratulated Abhijit Bannerjee and revealed that Abhijit was one of the consultants in conceptualising NYAY scheme, congress minimum basic income guarantee scheme.

In his congratulatory message to Banerjee, Gandhi took a dig at BJP-led government, saying that NYAY had the power to destroy poverty but the current government policies, which he called  ‘Modinomics’, are destroying the economy and boosting poverty.

Many have also questioned that PM Modi who is normally very quick on Twitter has not congratulated the Awardee.

Same cannot be said about his right-wing followers who are dissecting and questioning the Nobel prize and discrediting him because he had criticized demonetisation.

Officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the award wasn’t created by the prize founder, but is considered to be part of the Nobel stable of awards.

The Nobel prize in economics prize includes 9 million-kronor (USD 918,000) cash, a gold medal, and a diploma. The winners will equally share the prize money.


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April 2024


  1. Very good and balanced coverage about noble prize for economics. It’s all about academic economists working towrdards model for poverty Alivation- model painstakingly built on collecting
    robust data from various samples.
    Let us welcome it with equinomity- specially left radicals who are critical of such welfare models! Right wing being silent about it is evident. Yes, but models are models, waiting for militant people’s politics to implement it and deliver the results by fine tuning it to larger challenging realities of southern poverty.
    Very game changing model of Sen-Dreez required Dreez to take up Indian citizenship and working with grassroot organizations to realize fair implications. Dreez continues to face very harsh treatment from powers, for his activist economist role model.
    Let us take this opportunity to take this model to masses, explain what it means and build politics around it. That’s the tribute.


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